Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Partially Declassified NIE

By Juan Cole

"I want to make 4 basic points about this controversy, and also provide the declassified text in HTML at the end.

1) The real scandal is that the NIE was classified at all.

2) The NIE clearly says that the Iraq War is now the main generator of terrorism against the US and its allies.

You can see the rise of anti-US sentiments under Bush most starkly in non-Arab countries such as Turkey and Indonesia which used to like us, believe it or not.

3) Critics have pointed out that although the NIE said that Bush's Iraq War has generated more terror against the US and its allies, not less, it also does not urge an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. But the NIE does not in fact urge "staying the course" as Bush and others imply.

4) Bush repeated at the news conference his statement that the US was not in Iraq in the 1990s when the US embassies in Africa and the USS Cole were hit by al-Qaeda or in 2001 when al-Qaeda hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

This meme is so stupid and even Bush should be ashamed for trotting it out.

But that al-Qaeda had these grievances does not mean that Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq cannot now generate more terrorism. If a few thousand Muslims were upset about the al-Qaeda grievances of 1996 through 2001, many millions of Muslims are upset about US actions in Iraq."

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